Media Communication Studies

The Daguerreotype photo process was devised during this time period by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, a French citizen, and announced later that year by Dominique-Francois-Argo of the French Academy of Science. This represented the dawn of photography, and all subsequent technology was based on this camera prototype (Timeline Technology). It is vital to clarify that the name daguerreotype refers to the photographic process; yet, it is frequently used to refer to the camera as well (Daguerreobase). This era was vital in the technological advancement of the camera as it marked the first real photograph that resembles what there is modernly in terms of photography. The previous pinhole cameras were too simple and would have a big gap when contrasted with modern photography. The closest ancient photography to the modern era photography is the daguerreotype. The daguerreotype camera has an optical lens and the picture was produced on a paper similar to the modern camera (Giralt ). The daguerreotype paper was rigid, fragile and glossy; it resembled the current film remotely and distantly.

This era saw the invention of the transparent paper-strip photographic film that was patented by George Eastman. It was during this period, specifically 1884 Oct 14 that the roll of film was invented (Timeline Technology). The film was on a paperback that could be wound on a roller. Eastman further developed a black box camera for it that cost him $25 and came loaded with a 100 exposure roll of film. This helped encourage amateur filmmakers and photography sales in the era. When the entire film roll was used up, the cameras were returned to Eastman’s factory for reloading at a cost of only $10. This model of operation proved successful with over 13000 sales achieve in the year 1888 alone.

This era saw camera improve enough to be instruments of capturing important events such as news events. Additionally, wireless technology saw photographs transmitted of facsimile machines to distant locations, for example on 1924 Nov 30, the first photograph w2as transmitted from London to New York City. This represented a big step in photography, the versatility of its uses and it’s the reach of its applications. Additionally, it was during this era that media houses started cropping up and investing in camera technology. An example is national geographic which managed to take color photographs undersea in 1926 Jul 16. In 1927 Sep 7, the TV and long distant transmission became a reality, this gave the camera a boost in its uses and proceeded to advance the camera technology. From this point on, camera technology was spearheaded by some media houses that sought to outdo each other by adding various features and innovations to capture the customer’s attention. In 1947 Feb 21, the polaroid land camera was produced by Edwin H. Land and it had the ability to take black and white photographs in 60 seconds. In this same era, the magnetic tape was invented and videos could be recorded onto it.

The duration from 1960- 1990 saw cameras evolve significantly to produce better quality pictures fast. There were media houses such as Fox and Warner Bros that competed fiercely to broadcast better and superior content. This proved beneficial for the camera evolution because it means that these powerhouses with enough resources could afford to invest in the camera technology and standards to come up with products that gave them an edge in the market. In 1963, home video records were in their infancy but kept developing over the decades to become more compact and sophisticated. By this time, transistors were commonplace and could be used in cameras which would improve their portability and compactness. There were several technology advancements that worked together to see the camera improve tremendously. Transistors, light emitting diodes, the media advancements and the demand for the cameras all contributed to the rapid increase in the sales of the camera and fueled research that saw the cameras develop and become the device it is today.

Threat to journalists’ safety; this is particularly true in war-torn countries and or regions such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, among others, it is life-risking for journalists to visit certain corners in such of information to report. According to Al-Ama (2010), the journalists risk being detained, injured or killed. In the year 2009, there were a hundred and seventy-three reported cases of violation of media freedoms (Al-Ama). The journalists are physically assaulted or wounded with extreme cases when they are just killed (Al-Ama). Threats to safety take various forms as they are carried out by different perpetrators. These forms include; arbitrary detainment, detention, and imprisonment by government agencies, expulsion from the country, kidnapping, exposure to risky war zones and rape and other forms of sexual assault.

The threat to journalists’ independence: governments may sometimes threaten the media on reporting about certain issues carried out by government agencies. If the government feels the information can tarnish its image in the face of the public, they end up setting measures to prevent such reporting. At times, journalists who try to report such events have been detained (Al-Ama). The journalists also tend to self-censor their reporting to avoid severe scenarios of being threatened to jail or be subjected to other unfair cruelty. Thus, the information the public receives from the media can be compromised. The journalist can receive direct threats or their media organizations can be targeted in several ways including denigration (Al-Ama).

There is also a threat posed to the journalists’ accessibility sites of coverage: journalists are denied travel visas or restricted to access certain geographical locations. In 2009, two Gazan photojournalists were prevented from participating in an Award event in Amman (Al-Ama). Journalists are blocked from accessing certain sites especially during military operations where there are cases of abuse of human rights (Al-Ama).

Impunity of government actors: this where a crime is committed to a journalist likely by a government personnel or agency and there is no legal action taken against the perpetrators (Clark). Some countries especially the developing countries have very limited legal provisions that protect journalists from cruelty perpetrated by the respective governments or high profile people in the government. According to UNESCO report on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, less than six percent of the six hundred and eighty journalist murder cases for years 2006 to 2014 have been determined (Clark). Cases of impunity are cutting across both developed and developing countries. However, the type of information that results in the murder of a journalist in developed and developing countries are very different. In developing countries, major causes of murder are personal-based especially on exposure of social evils such as corruption, drug trafficking, and government coup planning disclose. In developed countries, the causes for the murder of journalists are mostly international power tussles concerning nations.

Less protection by legal systems: internationally and nationally, journalists are less protected by law (Clark). Many countries such have passed laws which aim at victimizing journalists. The journalists need shield laws just like professions such as law. However, many states have instead exposed journalists to trial and heavy fines. This is aimed at intimidating them in their working.

Body armor: Journalists who plan to capture information on war events are advised to wear body protective gears (Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ). However, it is good remembering that protective body gears such as bulletproof vests can also cause dangerous effects to the body. There is nobody protective gear that can offer hundred percent protection against arms such as bullets.

The body protective gears are designed for different situations. For instance, for reporters who are covering large street demonstrations are supposed to use knife protective gears while those covering military wars are supposed not wear any protective armor less than level iii as recommended by the U.S National Institute of Justice (Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ).

Armored Vehicles: Armored vehicles is recent technology which has been used to protect high profile people. Nowadays, news organizations and firms are providing their workers with armored vehicles to collect news in a military war environment. This has been seen in Gaza war (Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ). However, the armored vehicles are not that very secure because they can be attacked using rocket-propelled grenades and other powerful weapons.

Training: The very experienced former military soldiers have collaborated with security companies to provide training to journalists who intend collects news in the risky environment (Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ). They have developed courses that help to improve the safety of the journalists in risky environments. An example of a case where such training has helped is in Sierra Leone, Africa. A veteran photojournalist Behrakis and his friend escaped death by a whisker when they were ambushed by Sierra Leone government rebels. Behrakis attributed his escape from death to training he received from Centurion Risk Assessment Services Ltd. in England (Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ).

The training is aimed at raising awareness skills of the journalists. They trained on how to listen to the trajectory of bullets, evaluate the ability of a wall or any other barrier to withstand bullets and for how long, how to get clean water from dirty water and how to position safely during street demonstrations (Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ). Also, of late, some firms also offering training on how a journalist can protect himself/herself when covering military wars that may involve biological, chemical or nuclear weapons.

Objectivity and journalism by attachment are two competing approaches to the presentations of information by a journalist. They both have their strong points and weak aspects that must be considered carefully before their employment. However, the most important aspect in this consideration is the fidelity of the information and the independence of the journalist. Often, these approaches intertwine and overlap to the extent that they are used interchangeably by some media personalities as the case may require. Additionally, the type of article being reported and the events in the case are a determining factor in the style that the journalist employs. At this point, it is important to note that the journalist shall largely be oriented towards one style but keep borrowing from the other.

The concept of objectivity in the media refers to the elimination of bias through the journalist being impartial in his or her covering and reporting of activities that compose the news. It is a concept that has been touted within the profession a lot to the extent that it is a pride of several journalists and a principle desired in my news reports as a mark of good reputation and independence. It is important to note that this type of objectivity is distinct from scientific objectivity owing to the criteria employed in attaining the notion in both circles. Scientific objectivity refers to the use of empirical evidence to arrive at decisions while the journalistic objectivity focuses on impartiality in coverage, it is more of a personal attribute rather than a quantifiable or verifiable attribute. Journalistic objectivity has two approaches, depersonalization, and balance. Depersonalization means that a journalist should not overtly express their views, beliefs, and evaluations while covering or reporting a story, they should rather present the story from a neutral perspective that accords the viewers the opportunity to make their own judgments and establish the truth. The second component of journalistic objectivity, balance, refers to covering and reporting the story from every side and clearly indicating where one side was unavailable or unwilling to cooperate. This ensures that the views of the parties involved in the matter are aired and that the viewer has every piece of information to make an informed chose (

A simple example shall suffice in the explanation of the above concept and its diction from scientific objectivity. When a journalist, lets us say from Cable News Network (CNN), goes to Syria to cover the state of the nation amid the current conflicts, he or she shall be faced with a number of challenges. Among these are; hostile government and a hostile terrain, not to mention the threat to the journalist's life. To report on the matters objectively, the journalist shall have to interview both parties and every other stakeholder in the war scenario in Syria. This means reaching out to the president, the militia leader, and the citizens on the streets, the peacekeepers and the medical staff in the area. It is clear from this list that the journalist is eliminating his assumptions as much as possible, he/ she shall not have to speak on behalf of any group or assume what the group would have said.

As with any idea in a free society, the objectivity notion of journalism has a counter notion of journalism of attachment. This notion was put forth by the British reporter Martin Bell (Graham). Graham argues that objective journalism is impractical in a society and inappropriate (Graham). He proposes that journalism should be covered in a manner that that exploits the morality of the situation, this is to say that, the journalist should report the matter in the manner he or she deems morally appropriate rather than simply leaving it to the audience. In his report, he should guide the readers or viewers towards the “truth” since he is the one on the ground and best placed to judge the situation. Rom Graham’s standpoint, the journalist in the above-given example (from CNN) would be required to identify with the situation and give his perspective of what the matter is.

This perspective demonstrates that the journalist, the news and the society that he reports on and to are intertwined. There essentially rely on one another for success and thriving. From this perspective, the journalist must establish touch with the society in order to report effectively and objectively.

Marina Achenbach was able to challenge storylines from the former Yugoslavia that seemed to report events that the media did not see important enough to major on. He challenged the media coverage of these events for a tourist perspective where the news was aimed at depicting what the journalists saw rather than what the community members went through. Establishing contact with the community helps the journalist be able to report the happenings on the ground and then he can report accurately. Establishing contact may take the form of living with the people under study.

Works Cited

Al-Ama, Valentina. "Journalists under Pressure: Experiences from the Frontline." 2010.


Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ. "On Assignment: A Guide to Reporting in Dangerous Situations." 2015.

Daguerreobase. What is a daguerreotype? n.d. Web. 21 February 2017.

Giralt, Mercedes. The use of Photography in 19th Century. 2015. Document. 21 February 2017.

Graham, Fraser. "Whose side are you on?” Representations of journalism of attachment and detachment in the movies. Edinburgh: Napier University, 2006. Document.

Timeline Technology. 5 January 2015. Web. 21 February 2017. "Objectivity." 20 February 2017. Web. 20 February 2017. .

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